In this extraordinary account, the curtain rises in 1901 on the Pan American Exposition’s big tragedy and its lesser-known scandals, on both notorious and forgotten figures. In a story that is by turns suspenseful, heartrending, and triumphant, this non-fiction narrative reveals the power struggles that not only marked the Buffalo fair but shaped the twentieth century.

Publication Date: October 18, 2016

Early Reviews

“An extraordinary portrait of the event… great storytelling and painterly in its color and detail.”

Mark Goldman, historian and author of High Hopes and City on the Edge

“Margaret Creighton does for Buffalo in 1901 what Erik Larson did for 1893 Chicago in The Devil in the White City. Creighton’s book is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat ride: she creates a vivid panoply of daredevils, hucksters, suffragists, and civil rights champions, conjuring up the very aromas and tastes of America at the turn of the last century.”

Lauren Belfer, author of City of Light and And After the Fire

“Attending this illuminated extravaganza at the start of the new century, we absorb the pomp and pageantry, travel backstage to enter the lives of impresarios and performers, witness the assassination of President McKinley, and meet the assassin. This is a story of American democracy and American imperialism, of modern wonders intertwined with disillusionment and exploitation all unfolding in utterly electrifying prose.”

Martha Hodes, author of Mourning Lincoln

“Absolutely first rate… A fascinating account of how a major American city attempted to assert itself at the turn of the twentieth century with the Pan American Exposition…A great pleasure to read.”

A. R. Gurney, Buffalo-born playwright and novelist

“In her electrifying account of this electrifying fair, Margaret Creighton reveals how the 1901 Pan-American Exposition heralded the dawn of the ‘American Century.’”

Robert W. Rydell, author of All the World’s a Fair